Yes Marg, there is an ad in our main page Showcase slideshow for buying FOTMD pins. It takes you to the pin webpage HERE. Thanks for asking!
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Do you enjoy being a member of Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer?
Does this site benefit you in some way?
Over a year ago, we were preparing to move this entire site onto our new larger improved platform and location, where it resides today. That was a massive project and many members stepped up to the plate at the time and made donations to help defray the hundreds of dollars involved in our site move. Those members made it possible for FOTMD to get to its new wonderful home here, and I will always be grateful for their generosity.
Now let's fast forward to today....
There is much required effort and various ongoing costs involved in maintaining and growing a large multi-media site such as Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. Software and server/hosting costs continue monthly. I myself probably spend about 12-15 hours per week or more in site maintenance, code updates and troubleshooting, assisting members with their various site issues, etc. I take no pay for this. Our amazing and dedicated site Moderators and our member Greeters all volunteer their time as well. It's pretty much a labor of love for all of us.
All donations, even the most modest, are applied entirely to paying for the upkeep of FOTMD- no profits are kept from donations. So far this system has managed to work for seven years in keeping even with monthly site expenses and fees. Our site remains as it always has been- completely FREE to join and enjoy. There are no membership dues or member 'access fees' such as many modern community sites impose.
But donations have been slowly lessening over time. Spontaneous donations are down almost to 1/2 what they were two years ago. The same few generous folks tend to make donations while others never think to do so. We've only had two new Patron members in the entire first half of 2016. It also seems that some members who are selling items in our For Sale forum are forgetting to make the requested $5 'honor system' donation when they sell instruments and merchandise.
I'm sure one reason for all of this is the state of today's economy in general.
However, all of this combined means that during 2016, FOTMD has been receiving in donations only about 60% of the amount needed each month to cover basic site costs.
Our site is as active and fun as always. There are so many members here who have been enjoying and contributing to our site for years, plus a steady number of new friends joining us....which is exactly what FOTMD is about!
There are also many members who benefit from the added exposure FOTMD has provided for their careers, their music, crafts, and services ...via exposure on Profile Pages, Forum and Group discussions, videos, Soundcloud clips, photo galleries, event listings, member recommendations, etc.
Yet many folks who benefit regularly from being on FOTMD have never made a donation of any kind to the site during its seven years. Can we change this a little?
I'd like to ask all members, and especially those who have never made a donation, to consider what FOTMD means for them, and to consider giving back in some way to Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer so that it remains practical to maintain.
How can you support the site? Well, I'm glad you asked....
There are FOUR different ways and levels in which YOU can help support Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer:
1) Make a simple random occasional donation in any amount at any time-
Just click on our Paypal Donate button on the Main Page and make a simple donation to FOTMD for $10, $25, or whatever you feel you can afford. (you don't need to have a paypal account to make a paypal donation- you can just use your credit card on paypal if you like). Make a little donation once in a while when it occurs to you that FOTMD is adding something good to your life.
2) Become a Patron Member of FOTMD!
Our NEW REVISED Patron Member system is this: When you make a single donation of only $35 or more, the period of one YEAR afterwards you will then have a "PATRON" banner proudly displayed underneath your member picture on your Profile Page, like this (and thank you, Gordon!):
(note: most prior Patron member statuses from 2015 and earlier have since expired, so if you were previously a Patron do check your profile page to see if you still have your banner indicating an active Patron status. If not, you can make a new donation of $35 or more and become a Patron again for a brand new year-long term!)
3) When you sell something via our For Sale Forum, make the requested donation-
Though it's totally FREE to list something for sale there, we do ask that if you successfully sell any merchandise of more than $100 that you advertised in our forum, that you then please FOLLOW THROUGH and make at least a small $5 site donation (or more if you like). We are hoping to avoid charging everyone a fee for placing every ad, especially if their item does not sell. Instead, our very reasonable donation request is described HERE, and such donations are run on the "Honor System". We'd like to remind folks to please honor that request, because not everyone is doing so. Just a few of these each month makes a difference in FOTMD's bottom line.
4) Become a Sponsor in our Slideshow AD Showcase on FOTMD's Main Page!-
Everyone wins! FOTMD now offers high visibility promotional ads on the Main Page in our animated Slideshow Showcase....at incredibly low prices starting at only $10/month!
This is especially exciting news for the members who have always wanted to promote their music festivals, camps, historic events, custom instrument builders and repair, music stores and websites, instructor workshops, concert appearances, musicians/bands for hire, Skype/online instruction, teachers, instrument stands, supplies & accessories, music scholarships and competitions, CDs/DVDs/books, recording services, instrument sales or rentals, music-themed jewelry & crafts.
Now you can get seen 'up front and center' every minute of the day, as easy as pie, AND support your favorite dulcimer site at the same time, ....at a very low cost. No more wondering whether you are pushing the site rules concerning sales or promotions. Instead, become a proud Sponsor with a professional presence!
And if you are a regular member and you wind up purchasing goods from one of our slideshow site Sponsors, please do mention to them that their FOTMD ad brought you to them.
During your active ad slide duration, you'll have a "SPONSOR" banner proudly displayed underneath your member picture on your Profile Page, like this (and thank you, Kevin!):
That's it! FOUR easy-peazy ways that YOU can help support our mountain dulcimer community!
Thank you so much for considering how YOU can give back in some way.